5 Silent Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Posted on August 1, 2018 | Author and Reviewed by: Rose Ann C. Galera, RPh
What are the silent symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
- Constant urge to urinate
- Pain during urination
- Unusual properties of urine
- Body pains
- Fever and nausea
Studies suggest that people who are diagnosed with type-2 diabetes mellitus have an increased risk of UTIs. Approximately 9% of those with type-2 diabetes have had UTIs while only 5% of the non-diabetic population have suffered through a UTI. It is caused not by their medicine for diabetes but by the infection itself and its effects on their bodies. A weakened immune system, poor metabolic control, high blood glucose levels, and automatic neuropathy are some of the effects of type-2 diabetes that contribute to the acquisition of a UTI.
Not only are these people more at risk, their UTIs are also more severe and the outcomes are much worse than normal, which is why early detection and treatment is important. That, however, is easier said than done because UTI can be a silent condition in a way that its symptoms can be associated with other diseases. In order to really be able to identify a UTI, you have to be hyperaware and know its silent symptoms which are listed below:
Constant Urge to Urinate
People who have small bladders and drink plenty of water may need countless trips to the bathroom but it doesn’t automatically mean that they have a UTI. It’s just their body flushing out its systems that are filled with water. It’s only safe to assume that it is a UTI if you have an insatiable desire to urinate but only small amounts or no amount of urine passes every time you go. The lingering feeling of having a full bladder despite having just emptied it is a sure sign of a UTI.
Pain During Urination
One symptom that is pretty specific to a UTI but doesn’t always appear is the burning sensation you get during urination. In the medical world, this burning sensation is called dysuria. It happens because bacteria have damaged the lining of the urethra and bladder and the acidic urine passing through is acting like alcohol over an open wound. The pain is often intense while you’re urinating and may even persist after the act, although not as strong.
Unusual Properties of Urine
Normal urine can either be clear or straw-yellow in color. It may or may not have a distinct odor but it definitely doesn’t have a strong smell. If you have a UTI, your urine may have a cloudy, pinkish and/or discolored appearance and a strong and fishy smell; blood may even be present from time to time. For women—who are more at risk than men—noticing these symptoms is a lot harder because, well, they don’t really take the time to look at their urine. So if you’re a woman that feels you may have caught a UTI, then hold on flushing the bowl and inspect your urine first.
UTI pain isn’t always localized at the genitalia and at times is diffused to other parts of the body like the abdomen, pelvis, sides, and back. Body pains such as these are pretty general and common, so it’s hard to blame it on a UTI. They may also be mistaken for different diseases or conditions or just plain exhaustion. You can only really know that it is a UTI if it is accompanied by other symptoms.
Fever and Nausea
Much like body pains, fever and nausea are common symptoms for other kinds of diseases and conditions. You can have them from time to time without making too big of a deal out of it. However, if your fever persists in combination with other probable symptoms of a UTI, then it’s time to stop enduring it and have yourself checked. Experiencing fever, nausea, and vomiting while having a UTI often means that the infection has spread to the kidney and that you need immediate doctor’s attention.
Aside from dysuria, these symptoms can be pretty hard to detect and even associate with a urinary tract infection, making early detection a difficult task. Although it isn’t fatal, it may have severe repercussions especially among people with type-2 diabetes, which is why prevention is the better approach.
One of the best ways to do this is through the proper intake of their medicine for diabetes and controlling their blood sugars. Doing this not only helps lessen the risk of a UTI, which, frankly, is just the tip of the iceberg, but also prevents permanent damage to the body. Put it simply, against UTI and other life-threatening conditions, diabetes management is key!